North American Model Engineering Expo


| January/February 2000



Gas Engine

Scale model gas engine.

36506 Sherwood, Livonia, Michigan 48154

The 10th annual North American Model Engineering Exposition was conducted April 24 and 25, 1999 at Yack Arena in Wyandotte, Michigan. This unique model engineering exposition was well received by everyone involved, including students, vendors, exhibitors and the general public.

This year the free Educational Day was again conducted Friday, April 23, before the exposition was open to the public. Students were exposed to classroom discussions, graphics, cutaways, videotapes, running engines, hands-on experiences, and machining demonstrations. More than 200 grade school, middle school, high school students, and scouts were exposed to subjects of the Stirling cycle hot air engine, the steam engine, the gasoline engine, and demonstrations of lathe and milling machine operations. The day's activities proved very rewarding for the young people and those who conducted the classes. In addition to explaining the general operation of the different engines and machining tools, plans for construction of a simple hot air and steam engine were made available to the young people to increase their interest in model engineering. One of the best endorsements of the Education Day is that teachers and scout leaders continue to want their young people shown this unique learning experience.

For the second year, the Society sponsored a four day course called The Study of Steam Power, held April 19-22, at Domino's Farm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, conducted by N.A.M.E.S. board member Tom Stockton. The course is an in-depth study of all aspects of steam power, and emphasizes fundamentals that apply to other heat engines. A fee of $125 included two books, lunch, coffee breaks and one year's NAMES membership. On Sunday, April 18, the class enjoyed a ride in the steam launch 'Arbor Queen' on the nearby Huron River. The steam engine and boiler in the Arbor Queen were made by Tom Stockton.

During the two-day exposition, four very informative model engineering seminars were conducted, with many people attending the sessions. The seminars were: Electronic Discharge Machining, Model Building, Computer Controlled Machining, and Model Shop and Tools. The seminars provided an excellent learning experience for all who attended. Several model related demonstrations held on the floor during the expo were aimed at the general public, to inform them and answer any questions about the model engineering craft.

Three hundred seven exhibitors displayed more than 900 models, many of museum quality. The variety of models included hot air, steam, and gasoline engines running and operating scale model machinery, vehicles and other equipment. The engines were in the form of antique farm, industrial, automotive, marine, aircraft, tractors, railway and military. About 1000 feet of compressed air line was used to operate the wide array of steam engines. In addition, scale model construction equipment, machine tools, including lathes and milling machines, and clocks, were enjoyed by more than 3700 spectators.